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Brewing with Long Island's Hop Crops

RIVERHEAD, NY. August 23, 2013 - Today at Long Ireland Beer Co. in Riverhead, New York beer and history is being made. Being described within the craft beer community as a major milestone, a special collaboration beer is joining the forces of two Long Island craft breweries-Long Ireland Beer Co., and Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.-with two local hop growers-Wading River's Condzella Hops and Peconic's Wesnofske Farms, to produce a Wet Hop Pale Ale.

Currently most U.S. produced hops come from the northwest. Hops require a very specific climate to take hold and grow, an environment very similar to what is required for grape production. "If we can grow grapes here, we can grow hops here," said Justin Wesnofske who is a sales representative for the Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. as well as shepherd for the hop project on his local family farm. "We are really excited to be a part of this brew. For me, it's great to tie in my farming background with my passion for great beer. As a beer lover I know how important freshness is, and it doesn't get any fresher than this," said Wesnofske. "It's great to have the local breweries supporting the local agriculture and together we look forward to continuing our efforts to grow the awareness of freshness and quality."

The hops to be used in the collaboration beer will be picked fresh the morning of the brew, and used within hours of the harvesting. Dan Burke, co-owner of Long Ireland Beer Co. explained that "when we brew our beer, ninety-nine percent of the time we use pelletized hops that we get from Washington state," an area well-known for hop production. When asked about the taste one might expect from the Wet Hop Pale Ale, Burke replied, "using fresh hops to make beer is like using fresh fruit to make a pie. You'll definitely get more natural flavorings from the fresh product."

We're excited to bring "awareness to local agriculture and craft beer culture on Long Island," said Greg Martin, co-owner of the Long Ireland Beer Co. The beer will be sold in 22oz bottles and kegs at select retail accounts with an estimated release date of the third week of September.

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